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Creffield and the Holy Rollers made page one headlines from 1903 to 1907. When I was researching Holy Rollers: Murder and Madness in Oregon’s Love Cult I spent months transcribing hundreds of articles. I’m not sure why I was so obsessive. Maybe it was my way of immersing my self into a cult without joining one. Anyway, I’m posting them all for those who are really interested in the story, or are interested the history of journalism, or are interested in how a scandalous story played out in the "media" in a by gone era. Since I no doubt made typos and unconsciously corrected papers' typos, these web pages should not be cited in anything serious (e.g. your dissertation). For such projects they should only be used as starting points and you should refer to the original sources. If you want a shorter version of the story, buy my book. Enjoy.

June 29, 1906: Trial is Now on in Earnest

 

Kenneth MackintoshSeattle Star 6/29/1906 p1

Mitchell Trial is Now on in Earnest

Jury Secured Yesterday Afternoon and Trial Begins This Morning With the Address of Deputy Prosecuting Miller.

 

(In a box)

HERE ARE THE NAMES OF THE MEN WHO WILL DECIDE THE FATE OF GEORGE MITCHELL.

W. S. Perkins, farmer and former mill hand of Brighton Beach.

H. E. Start, rancher, Vashon Island.

M. O. Rex, restaurant keeper, of Seattle.

J. W. Boves, paperhanger, Dunlap.

F. M. Townsend, city water department, Seattle.

M. H. Ring, post office, Seattle.

Clyde Wetmore, clerk, Seattle.

George W. Arnold, painter and grocer, Seattle.

L. F. Jones, rancher, Enumclaw.

J. R. Hall, cement contractor, Seattle.

Fred Clinton, cook, Vashon Island.

W. C. Howard, hotel man, Seattle.

__

 

The original telegram sent by George Mitchell to O. V. hurt, of Corvallis, Ore., immediately after the killing of Franz Edmund Creffield has been carefully preserved and is offered to the jury on the Mitchell murder trial as an important bit of testimony, both showing that Mitchell did the killing and that at the time he did so he was in a cool, sound frame of mind.

 

This fact came out in the opening statement made this morning by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Miller. Judge Miller in his statement recited the circumstances of the killing, following closely the published accounts of the tragedy. He gave the names of the eye-witnesses to the crime, and what the state would attempt to prove by each one. He wound up his statement with the declaration that when these facts had been proven to the satisfaction of the jury, the state would ask for a verdict of guilty as charged.

 

WRITTEN IN POLICE STATION

 

The telegram which forms so important a link in the chain of evidence was written by Mitchell in the police station three minutes after he had arrived there after his arrest. Mitchell had asked for a telegram blank, and when it was handed him wrote:

“O. V. Hurt, Corvallis, Ore.

 

“I’ve got my man. Am in jail here.

“GEORGE MITCHELL.”

 

Hurt is the father of the wife of Creffield, and since the shooting has taken an active part in raising money for the defense of his son-in-law’s slayer.

 

The defense reserved the statement of its case until a later time.

 

The first witness called by the state was Dr. F. M. Carroll, county coroner. as he was not present, the state called Dr. Bories, who held the autopsy over Creffield’s dead body.

 

STORY OF KILLING

 

The story of the killing of Creffield by Mitchell, as told on the witness stand this morning by half a dozen witnesses introduced by the attorneys for the stat, tallies in every essential particular with the stories of the killing published in The Star at the time of the tragedy.

 

So far as developed during the examination of the first half dozen witnesses there were no actual eye witnesses to the shooting. Many people heard the report of the fatal shot and looked towards or hastened to the scene of the crime, several arriving on the spot within the first minute or two after it occurred. Among there were J. Tuchten, a diamond setter in the employ of Mayer Bros; John a. Whalley, an insurance man; Dr. W. C. Capps, a physician, and Peter Wooley, a bootblack.

 

SIX WITNESSES ON STAND

 

All four of these witnesses were on the stand during the morning session of the court, as were also Dr. F. M. Carroll, county coroner, and Dr. Emil Bories, who was present at the autopsy. The four eye witnesses to the events immediately following the tragedy told practically the same story. At the time the shot was fired each was engaged at his place of business, except Tuchten, who was on the streets, and all four heard the shot.

 

All rushed to the scene of the tragedy, except Dr. Capps, who hastened to the window of his office, in the Washington block, directly across the street. All testified that Mrs. Creffield, who was with her husband at the time he was killed, berated Mitchell for killing him, striking him with her arms and hands, while Mitchell endeavored to ward off the blows by guarding his body with his arms.

 

When shot, Creffield sank to the ground without a word or apparent conscious effort, and the medical experts testified that from the nature of the wound, death must have been instantaneous and without pain. The attorneys for the defense laid special stress on the fact that death came at once and also on the fact that the defendant did not show any excitement and made no effort whatever to escape after having committed the crime. To bring out these two facts was about the extent of their cross examination of the several witnesses.

 

PROVING THE KILLING

 

Throughout the morning session the examination of witnesses was conducted in an almost perfunctory manner. The state had summoned a dozen witnesses and the facts tending to prove the killing were well substantiated and virtually confessed by the defense. The defense, for instance, admitted the identification of the accused as the man present at the time the killing took place and admitted that Mrs. Creffield, who was called into the court room for identification, was the woman present.

 

An effort was made by the defense to get from the witnesses a statement of the words addressed by Mrs. Creffield to the prostrate body of her husband after he had been shot, but on the objection of the state this evidence was denied admission by the court as immaterial. The words which the defense desired to bring out were those in which Mrs. Creffield declared that it was impossible for anyone to take the life of “Joshua.”

 

WHEN SHOOTING OCCURRED

 

As has already been many times related the shooting occurred on the east side of Second av. between Cherry and Columbia Sts. near the entrance to Quick’s drug store. Mitchell fired the shot from behind and the ball from his revolver entered the neck of Creffield, severing the spinal cord. Mrs. Creffield turned immediately upon Mitchell and demanded to know why he had committed the deed, saying, “He never did you any harm; why did you want to shoot him?”

 

The sound of the shot immediately attracted a crowd of spectators, and among them Police Officer LeCount, who place Mitchell under arrest and turned him over to two other officers who had come in the patrol wagon, after having first taken away Mitchell’s revolver.

 

On the witness stand this morning Dr. Bories produced the bullet with which Creffield was shot, it having been cut from the dead man’s body in the course of the post-mortem examination.

 

JURY SECURED

 

The work of procuring a jury in the Mitchell murder trial came to a sudden and somewhat unexpected end at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, when Attorney William H. Morris for the accused, announced that the defense was satisfied with the panel as it stood.

 

The defense was still entitled to four more peremptory challenges and the state to two more, had they chosen to exercise them, but the announcement on behalf of the defense that the jury was satisfactory was immediately followed by a similar announcement on behalf of the state.

 

 

Seattle Post Intelligencer 6/29/1906 p1

Evidence Against Mitchell Today

State Will Place In Stand Witnesses Of Death Of Creffield

Case Will Be Brief One

Probable Defense Will Begin To Present Evidence Before Night

 

The trial of George Mitchell, on the charge of murdering Edwin Creffield, May 7, last, will begin in earnest this morning. The jurors are all drawn, and it is probable that before court adjourns at 5 o’clock this evening, the hearing of evidence for the defense will have already begun.

 

The four days’ work of selecting the jury came to a sudden close at 4:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon, when counsel for the defense announced that it was satisfied with the panel as it stood. Counsel for the state immediately waived its right to one more peremptory challenge, which would have given the defense an opportunity for four more challenges, after Mr. Mackintosh and Mr. Miller had dismissed the last man to whom they might have an objection. The men who will hear the evidence, and who will be asked to decide whether or not Mitchell is guilty of murder in the first degree, in slaying Creffield, are: (A list of the 12 jurors)

 

TO PROVE PREMEDITATED MURDER

 

Prosecuting Attorney Kenneth Mackintosh stated last night that the opening statement by the state would be confined to outlining its plan of action, which will be simply to prove that the ace (sic) of George Mitchell in killing Creffield was premeditated murder. He expected to have all the state’s evidence in early in the afternoon.

 

Will H. Morris ventured the professional opinion in open court yesterday evening that the cross examination of the state’s witnesses would in this case be the shortest on record in a murder trial.

 

Each side expresses itself as well satisfied with the personnel of the jury and with its own chance of proving its case.

 

“It is too early to make any prophecies as yet,” said Mr. Mackintosh, “but I hope we shall be able to show that there is nothing to their acknowledged defense of insanity.”

 

“We are going to show an absolute defense in this case,’ said Attorney Silas M. Shipley, of counsel for the defense, “both in fact and in law. We are not going to ask the jury for any verdict that will be in violence of their conscience or of their oath.”

 

“The defense is well pleased with the completion of the jury after four days hard work,’ said Will H. Morris, also counsel for the defense.

 

Mr. Morris entered a protest yesterday evening, just before court adjourned, to what he claimed was an unwarranted action on the part of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John F. Miller. He moved the court that the witnesses for the defense be brought into court in the morning, and stated that Esther Mitchell, sister of the accused man, and one of the witnesses he claimed, for the defense, was kept in charge of the police matron, and that her brother’s counsel had not been allowed to visit her.

 

CONTROVERSY GETS HEATED

“You can visit her if you want to,” was the statement of Mr. Miller, but he did not state that he had not issued any prohibitive order to the police matron. “I am not here to catechized,” was his answer. He further stated that Mr. Morris had talked to her before Mr. Miller had. The girl will appear in court this morning.

 

The first witness today will be Dr. S. H. Voorhies (sic), the physician who performed the autopsy on Creffield. He will be succeeded by eye-witnesses of the killing, including Mrs. Creffield, who was accompanying her husband when the boy met them on the street; and by the officers who arrested Mitchell and those who took his statement when he reached the police station. These will be asked to give the simple story of the incident, and that will be the state’s case.

 

All the witnesses for the defense are from Oregon, and their evidence will be concerned with the incidents which are suppose to have led Mitchell to pursue his victim to Seattle and kill him. It is expected two or three weeks will be occupied in hearing their testimony. No evidence will be heard tomorrow, which is taken as a holiday in jury cases.

 

Seven jurors who had been passed for cause left the jury-box yesterday, three peremptorily challenged by the state, and three by the defense.

 

PRISONER APPEARED CHEERFUL

 

Mitchell appeared more cheerful in the courtroom yesterday. He watched the proceedings closely, but at the numerous recesses chatted and laughed with several of his former acquaintances in Oregon. Possibly of some effect on the man’s frame of mind was the arrival yesterday morning of his father, from Illinois. The aged man had come two-thirds of the way across the continent to a family reunion under most strange circumstances. One son he found in jail accused of a crime which might lead to his death on the gallows. Another, from Portland, is reported to have been willing to take his brother’s place. A sister of the accused, and daughter of the aged traveler, is under close surveillance of the police, and is stated to adhere still to the very religion from which her brother sought to free them by removing the man whom he blamed for it all. The prosecuting attorney states she will give no evidence in support of the defense, thought she will not be introduced by the state, unless for rebuttal purposes.

 

Corvallis Times 6/29/1906 p1

Trying Mitchell

What Lawyer Morris Said About it since the Case Went to Trial.

 

There is deep concern in Corvallis over the outcome of the Mitchell trial, now in progress at Seattle. Tidings from the court room are generally looked upon as encouraging. It has for instance been observed in a great many cases where talesmen have been interrogated on the subject during the examination by the attorneys, they have almost invariably declared it to be their opinion that Mitchell did right in killing Creffield. This means that the knowledge of Creffield’s teachings has become widely disseminated, and in the state of Washington his doings are looked upon with disfavor. It is known here also that the attorneys for the defense are not in any sense discouraged with the outlook. In a letter written Wednesday evening to a friend in this city, Mr. Morris, senior counsel for Mitchell, said that up to that time, the case had gone pretty much along the lines he had expected and that he had every hope of an outcome favorable to his client. He added that the prosecution was making a strong fight to secure a conviction, and the defense was meeting the assault with equal vigor, and that he felt reasonably certain that those struggling on behalf of the Mitchell boy would hold their own in a legal battle.

 

All Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday was spent in securing a jury. On the subject of jury, Mr. Morris stated in his letter that he was very well satisfied, although most of the rulings of the court in the process of selecting them had been adverse to contentions of the defense. It is estimated now that the trial will occupy the greater part of next week. Copies of the Seattle papers received in Corvallis teem with accounts of the trial, to which large space is given up to pictures, incidents and other details of the proceedings.

 

The discouraging feature of the trial is the attitude of Esther Mitchell and Mrs. Starr, sisters of the defendant. They are apparently still under the Creffield influence and claim to have a revelation that it is God’s will that they do not give testimony to aid their brother, whom they insist should suffer the full penalty of the law. If Mitchell goes to the gallows it will be because of the fanatical testimony of his own sisters. Mrs. Starr went to Seattle determined to aid her brother, but after and interview with her sister, Esther, changed her mind.

 

The jury was secured last night and the taking of evidence is in progress today. The witnesses for the prosecution are Maud Hurt, two policemen, two doctors, and a Seattle newspaper reporter. It is expected that their testimony will all be in today, and that the evidence for the defense will begin tomorrow and continue for several days.

 

 

Oregon Daily Journal (Portland) 6/29/1906 p8

Mitchell Trial Is Under Way

Prosecution Has Opened Case Against Slayer Of Creffield

Jury Secured at Last to Hear Murder Case

But Two Hours Consumed In Hearing Testimony Of Five Witnesses Called By State--Mrs. Creffield And Esther Will Testify.

 

(Special Dispatch to The Journal.)

 

Seattle, wash, June 29.--The jury to try George Mitchell was secured late yesterday afternoon. The prosecuting attorney made his opening statement this morning declaring the state would make out a case of “cold-blooded murder.”

 

In the space of two hours this morning the five state’s witnesses testified. Among them was Dr. Bories, who performed the autopsy on Creffield, who told the course the final bullet took in the body. John A. Whaley, the real estate dealer, who ran from his office to the scene of the shooting upon hearing the report of the shot, declared Mitchell was calm and collected and that he was smoking a cigar.

 

Mrs. Creffield and Esther Mitchell will testify late this afternoon. The state expects to close its case by 4 o’clock. The defense is pursuing dilatory tactics to escape being compelled to make an open statement this afternoon. No court will be held tomorrow.

 

JURY IS SECURED

Last evening when the chance of securing a jury to try Mitchell appeared to be gone, for the day, at least, Attorney Mackintosh, for the prosecution, and Attorneys Morris and Shipley for the defense, surprised the gathered throng, as well as the court, by announcing that they had no further challenges to make. The jury of 12 men was completed as follows: (the jury list)

 

Attorneys on both sides of the case are satisfied with the men that are to hear the case whom they believe will be fair and impartial.

 

DEPENDS ON SISTERS

 

The life of George Mitchell is believed to hinge upon the attitude of his two sisters, Esther Mitchell and Mrs. Burgess E. Starr, the latter being the sister for whose ruin Mitchell killed Creffield. There is some apprehension expressed by the defense as to the stand of the sisters of the defendant will take when they are called upon the stand. Until yesterday Mrs. Starr had avowed her intention of standing by her brother, saying that she had successfully shaken off the baleful influences of the late Holy roller leader. Her sister, Esther, who still clings to her faith in her betrayer, however, has now prevailed upon Mrs. Starr to return to her faith in the dead fanatic and a strong prop has been knocked from under the bulwark the defense has been so carefully building up since the time of the slaying of the “apostle.”

 

MRS. STARR HAS CHANGED

When Mrs. Starr came to Seattle she was with the defense saying that she would do all in her power to free her brother of the charge which hags over him. When she went to see her sister, Esther, who is in charge of the matron at the city jail, and was refused an audience, the matter preyed upon the mind. She became uncommunicative and yesterday sent some message to Esther which gained her immediate admittance. After a long consultation with her sister it is stated she left the jail with the determination that she return to her faith in Holy Rollerism.

 

Oregon Daily Journal (Portland) 6/29/1906 p8

Gardner Will Testify in the Mitchell Case

 

W. T. Gardner, superintendent of the Boys’ and Girls’ Aid society, leaves today for Seattle, where he will testify in the trial of George Mitchell, who shot Apostle Creffield of the “Holy Rollers.”

 

For several weeks Mr. Gardner had Esther Mitchell, the sister of the accused man, in his charge. He will testify as to her mental condition and will also tell the jury and court of the confessions of her relations with Creffield which she made to him. He will appear in court Monday.

 

 

HEADLINES IN DIFFERENT PAPERS FOR THE SAME ARTICLE

 

Seattle Daily Times, 6/29/1906 p1

Mitchell is at Last on Trial

 

Evening Telegram (Portland) 6/29/1906 p1

Dramatic Moment When Widow of Late Holy Roller Enters Court

 

(Headline and Photo across entire top page)

 

MRS. CREFFIELD IS BROUGHT INTO COURT

Stares Straight Ahead as She Is Led Into the Midst of the Crowd Listening to the Mitchell Trial.

Attempt of Prosecution for a Dramatic Moment Fails, as Witness Did Not Identify the Alleged Prophet’s Widow.

Imprisonment, Grief and the Change of Dress Alter Woman--Incidents of the Shooting Are Detailed.

 

by Walter Deffenbaugh

 

WITNESS FAILS TO IDENTIFY HER AS WOMAN HE SAW HOVERING OVER BODY--STATE OPENS ITS CASE IN MITCHELL TRIAL.

 

Standing in the midst of the crowded courtroom, neatly gowned all in black, her eyes blazing with the fire which seems to burn in the look of everyone of the women who believed and still believe that Franz Edmund Creffield was in truth Joshua returned to life, Mrs. Maud Creffield, his widow, appeared for a dramatic moment this morning.

 

She did not speak. She looked at no one in the crowd through which she was called from Judge Frater’s private chamber where she was held under the charge of the police matron. She stared straight ahead at the judge with a snappy flash in her eyes as she stood directly behind the man who killed her husband.

 

Assisting Prosecuting Attorney Miller had summoned her for the purpose of being identified by a witness who saw the shooting that May morning on First Avenue. The defense had previously announced that they would admit that the woman who had been described as being with the man killed was Mrs. Creffield, but the prosecution summoned her anyway. so it had not yet come her turn to speak when she pushed through the staring crowd and faced the scene which the death of her husband had created.

 

APPEARANCE IS STARTLING

 

There was an intentness in her demeanor which was almost defiance. Whatever it was in her--religious fervor, fanatic belief that her husband or a sense of martyrdom--gave her an expression and a bearing different from any ordinary woman.

 

Her appearance was startling. It sent a thrill which was almost a shiver through the men inside the rail who turned in their chairs to meet that blazing look in her eyes. Those who have talked with Mrs. Creffield--and few have been permitted to do so since the shooting--say that she is not a woman of much intelligence or of strong mind. So it must have been something else which gave to her that bearing in a person which marks him in a crowd and causes people on the street to turn about and look.

 

So far as the trial is concerned the purpose for which Mrs. Creffield was avowedly summoned into the court room failed. J. Tuchten, a jeweler, employed by Mayer Bros., was on the witness stand and she was summoned that he might see her and say to the jury that she was the woman he had seen hovering over her husband’s body on the sidewalk.

 

“Call Mrs. Creffield,” ordered Mr. Miller in his best dramatic manner.

 

FAILS TO IDENTIFY HER

There was a scurrying of bailiffs, a craning of necks and a wait. Then she appeared in the doorway, followed the bailiffs through the crowd, and halted half way up the center aisle. Mitchell alone among those inside the rail failed to turn his head. He kept his eyes upon the jury where they were fixed all day.

 

“Is this the woman?” asked Mr. Miller.

 

“I don’t think so,” answered the witness.

 

“Step closer, Mrs. Creffield,” instructed the prosecutor.

 

She advanced to the rail and stood directly behind Mitchell and stood there.

 

“Is this the woman?” Mr. Miller asked again.

 

“I don’t think so,” was the answer. “The woman I saw was a short, fat woman. I’m not sure.”

 

It was the woman, but no comment was made until the fact t that the witness was mistaken. She had changed much. That look in her eyes was not present that morning when Tuchten saw her, and she was much better dressed.

 

This was the first dramatic scene in the many in which this trial will undoubtedly bring out.

 

The real trial of the case began this morning. The jury was unexpectedly accepted at 4:25 this afternoon, and after the witnesses for the prosecution had been sworn and ordered to leave the room this morning, Mr. Miller opened the case of the state. It was a brief review of the evidence of the shooting, made in as nearly a dispassionate manner as Mr. Miller’s virile personality would allow. He said:

 

MILLER STATES CASE

 

“About 7 o’clock on the morning of May 7th, this defendant, George Mitchell, shot and instantly killed Edmund Creffield on the streets of this city. Mr. Creffield and his wife arose early that morning to do some shopping and were walking south on the First Avenue on the right-hand side of the street. Near the corner of Columbia Street they crossed diagonally to the left-hand side. Mrs. Creffield was on the inside, and they walked along with their elbows touching close to the buildings.

 

“When they came to the Quick Drug Store, this defendant was standing there and after they had passed fired a shot from his pistol, which entered the base of Creffield’s brain, the ball lodging in the right point of the jaw. His wife looked around and saw George Mitchell with a smoking revolver in his hand.

 

“She rushed to him and asked: ‘What did you kill my husband for? He never did you any harm.’ He never answered, but continued coolly smoking his cigar.

 

“Officer Le Count came up and found the defendant walking up and down, while Mrs. Creffield scuffled with him, pushing him away from her husband. Someone pointed him out as the man who had fired the shot, but in answer to the policeman’s question he said: ‘Wait till I get to the police station and I’ll make a statement.’

 

“When he got there he asked for a telegraph blank and sent this message to O. V. Hurt, Corvallis, Oregon: ‘I’ve got my man. I am in jail here.’ That telegram, gentlemen, will be introduced in evidence.

 

“To Louis Sefrit, a newspaper reporter, he said: ‘I came here Wednesday morning and had been looking for him. I saw them a block and a half away, and when they passed me, I jumped out and fired.’

 

“That, gentlemen, is briefly our case.”

 

DR. BORIES TESTIFIES

Dr. Emil Bories was the first witness called. He testified that there was a bruise on the forehead caused by the fall of the body and a bullet hole in the back of the neck. He demonstrated its location upon the neck of Mr. Miller. He said that the bullet had cut through the spinal cord at the second vertebra and had lodged in the right point of the jaw. The wound had caused instant death by cutting off the action of the respiratory organs.

 

He testified that when he was summoned from Cherry Street on his way down town, he found the body in the drug store and tat a woman was bending over it.

 

Joshua is not dead,” she was saying. “They can’t kill Joshua.”

 

“This is no josh,” he said he answered after an examination. “This man is dead.”

 

He said that Creffield had a fine brain and that all his organs were well developed and in good condition.

 

On cross-examination the defense brought out testimony along lines which seemed to indicate an effort to show that Mrs. Creffield had extracted letters from her husband’s pocket and gained testimony, that Dr. Bories had left to go to the telephone, and that he had cautioned her not to remove anything until the coroner arrived. To this she had answered that she was the man’s wife and that she had right to take anything she wished.

 

“She was very cool,” he said. “And I could hardly realize that she was the man’s wife.”

 

On re-direct examination Mr. Miller brought out the statement that there were powder marks on the back of Creffield’s neck.

 

On re-direct examination Mr. Miller brought out the statement that there were powder marks on the back of Creffield’s neck.

 

Dr. F. M. Carroll, the county coroner, was the next witness. His testimony was technical and official. Mr. Morris took pains to bring out the fact that such a wound causes instant and painless death.

 

CROSS EXAMINE TUCHTEN

 

J. Tuchten, whose testimony has been indicated above, was then called. He testified that he had walked behind the couple down First Avenue and saw them stop and Mrs. Creffield get weighed in front of the Quaker (sic) drug store. They crossed the street and he was on the other side when he heard a shot and saw Creffield falling. He ran across and heard Mrs. Creffield ask Mitchell why he had killed her husband. He said that Mitchell stood there, looking at the body with a cigar in his mouth. On cross-examination, he became somewhat confused and explained that he was much excited at the time of the shooting.

 

Mrs. Creffield was called during this testimony and after she had retired Cr. W. C. Capps, a dentist in the Washington Block, was called. He testified that he heard the shot and looked out of the window. He saw Mitchell walking away and Mrs. Creffield ran after him and took him by the arm and they walked back together to where Creffield lay.

 

John A. Whalley, an insurance man, whose office is in the corner of the second floor of the Colman Building, was the next witness. He too heard the shot and ran to the window. He said he saw a woman striking at a man who was backing away from her and something lying on the sidewalk which he thought at first was a woman’s wrap. He recognized Mitchell as the man and said the woman was Mrs. Creffield. She was striking wildly, he said, and Mitchell was warding off the blows.

 

TALKING TO DEAD MAN

 

They finally walked back while he was running to the scene and when he arrived the woman was bending over the body. He heard her speak to Mitchell several times while she was talking to the dead man, as he put it. She kept repeating to Mitchell in the intervals, “He didn’t hurt you,’ or something to that effect.

 

On cross-examination, the defense tried to find out what she was saying to the “dead ma, but the prosecution objected and after a strenuous protest by Mr. Morris, the objection was sustained.

 

Dr. Bories was recalled to produce the bullet which he had obtained from Deputy Coroner Wiltsie and identified it as the one he had removed from Creffield’s jaw when he performed the autopsy.

 

Peter Wooley, a bootblack, who has a stand in front of Arnold Zbinden’s saloon at the foot of Cherry Street, was then called and proceeded to fill the courtroom so full of explosive English of the Italian variety that the bailiff had to open a window. He was utterly unable to answer “yes” or “no” to any question and each query brought out an excited review of his idea of the whole affair. The attorneys finally gave it up. Wooley swore that Mitchell walked south from the body, while the other eye-witnesses all testified that he had walked north. Mr. Morris tried helping him out by suggesting that he had not had his eyes fixed upon the scene all of the time.

 

“I was running,” spluttered the witness. “You can’t look at the floor when you run.”

 

This was the end of the morning session. Through it all Mitchell had scarcely moved from his seat at the corner of his counsel’s table. He was nervous and eagerly listened to the questions. His lips were firmly pressed together and he wiped his face with a handkerchief.

 

The jury, which was completed yesterday, is made up as follows:

W. s. Perkins, farmer and mill hand, Brighton Beach.

H. E. Start, rancher, Vashon.

M. O. Rex, restaurant keeper, Seattle.

J. W. Bovee, paper-hanger, Dunlap.

F. M. Townsend, foreman, city water department, Seattle.

M. H. Ring, mail collector, post office, Seattle.

Clyde Wetmore, street car man, Seattle.

George w. Arnold, painter and grocer, Seattle.

L. F. Jones, rancher, Enumclaw.

J. R. Hall, concrete contractor, Seattle.

Fred Clinton, cook, Vashon Island.

W. C. Howard, saloon-keeper and hotel-man, Seattle.

 

It is probable that the prosecution will conclude its case late today. It will endeavor only to prove the fact of the actual shooting and will depend upon the cross-examination of the witnesses for the defense for its other ammunition. There will be no session tomorrow, the time of the court being devoted to juvenile cases and motions. The defense expects to open Monday.

 

MRS. CREFFIELD ON STAND

 

Creffield’s widow was placed on the stand in the afternoon session and testified that she was walking on the street with her husband and that the first intimation she had of impeding tragedy was the report of the pistol shot, evidently fired from behind her.

 

Her husband fell forward upon his face, and as he lay on the sidewalk at her feet she looked around and saw George Mitchell with the revolver in his hand.

 

At this point Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Miller asked her if the defendant in the dock were the man she saw. Looking at Mitchell intently for a moment, she turned toward Mr. Miller and remarked, in a contemptuous tone: “Yes, that is the man.”

 

After the shot had been fired and she saw that her husband had been fatally hurt, if not killed, she turned and caught Mitchell by the hand, exclaiming: “Why did you do that? He never harmed you.”

 

It was at this time that the defendant was arrested by Officer Le Count who testified this afternoon that when he approached the man he was cool and collected and showed no evidences of agitation. In submitting to arrest he said to the patrolman: “I have only done my duty.”

 

 

Morning Oregonian (Portland) 6/30/1906 p1

Story Of Killing Told By Widow

Mrs. Creffield On Stand In Murder Trial.

Testifies Without Emotion

Confines Herself To Bare Facts Of Tragedy.

State Closes Its Case

Seattle Court Then Takes Adjournment Over Sunday--Real Struggle Begins When Defense Opens. Long Fight Is Expected.

 

SEATTLE, June 29.-- (Staff correspondence.)--The evidence through which the State of Washington expects to send George Mitchell to the gallows for the murder of Edmund Creffield, the Holy Roller leader, was submitted today. The court was then adjourned until Monday, at which time the defense will give its version of the killing and its justification of the deed.

 

The prosecution of young Mitchell was brief and to the point. Ste state contented itself with proving the simple facts of the killing, the manner in which the crime was committed, the attitude of Mitchell when he fired the fatal shot and after he had achieved his purpose. The prosecution utilized every legal technicality available in restricting the cross-examination of witnesses against Mitchell.

 

Prosecuting Attorney Mackintosh and his assistant, John F. Miller, succeeded in making the most of the case against the youthful homicide. They established that the killing was deliberate, that it was executed in a calm and deliberate manner, and that Mitchell throughout the tragedy maintained the attitude of a man who is in full possession of his faculties and who knows full well what he is doing.

 

TRY TO DISCREDIT DEFENSE

 

They did their best to discredit the claim of the defense that Mitchell was temporarily insane when he stepped up behind the Holy Roller leader and shot him dead.

 

Six hours sufficed to complete the case against Mitchell. As many days will be required to put in the defense.

 

The star witness of the day was Maud Hurt Creffield, widow of the deceased, who was with the Holy Roller prophet when he was killed. She saw the killing and grappled with her husband’s slayer. Her testimony was the most important offered by the state. Contrary to expectations, she made no reference to the pernicious cult of which her husband was the founder. Her testimony dealt with the material facts of the case. She showed no animus. It was hard to believe that she was Creffield’s widow.

 

Mrs. Creffield was called to the witness stand late in the afternoon, after police officers, eye-witnesses and doctors had testified to the facts surrounding the shooting. As she was led out of the witness room a hush came over the courtroom. There was a craning of necks to see the woman who had been at Creffield’s right hand in his outrageous fanaticism.

 

HER APPEARANCE A SURPRISE

 

She was not the type of woman that had been looked for. As she walked quickly down the aisle to the witness stand, those in the courtroom saw a short, stockily built woman yet in her twenties, rather comely and of very ordinary personality. She was in mourning, and the solemn black of her widow’s weeds harmonized with her jet black hair and eyes and pale, olive complexion.

 

Her eyes were the only unusual thing about her. In these there was a strange expression--one that suggested a lack of sympathy with the things about her and with the world at large. When she replied to the questions put to her by the attorneys she spoke in a weak voice and displayed a very ordinary education and a lack of individuality. It was not hard to understand why she had been selected by Creffield as his lieutenant in propagating the teachings of Holy Rollerism.

 

WIDOW DISPLAYS NO EMOTION

 

Replying to questions from Mr. Miller, Mrs. Creffield told calmly and without display of emotion of the killing of her husband by Mitchell. She and Creffield had arisen early on the morning of May 7 she said. Passing along First Avenue they reached a point in front of Quick’s Drug Store, when she was startled by a loud explosion. Turning instantly, she saw her husband sway and fall to the sidewalk. Then she saw Mitchell with a smoking revolver in his hand.

 

“Why did you do that? He did you no harm.” she quoted herself as having said. She stated that Mitchell made no reply, but calmly placed his revolver in his hip pocket. Fearing he might fire again, Mrs. Creffield said she rushed up to Mitchell and seized him by the hands. He resisted, drawing his own hands free and seizing her by the wrists. After a moment he released her and she dropped down beside her husband.

 

NO NEWS ON CROSS-EXAMINATION

 

Her examination by the state was brief. The cross-examination was searching, but confined to her statements on direct examination. The efforts of the prisoner’s attorneys to question her regarding her husband’s lecherous cult were resisted by the state. Judge Frater ruled that such questioning was not proper cross-examination and to this ruling Attorneys Morris and Shipley, Mitchell’s lawyers, took exception.

 

A lively legal skirmish ensued, the jury being removed from the courtroom while arguments were presented pro and con. Judge Frater stood by his ruling and an exception was entered by the defense. Mrs. Creffield was then excused from the stand. It is probable, however, that she will be recalled by the defense next week.

 

GREAT CROWD IN COURT

When the morning session of court convened there was on hand a crowd such as has seldom if ever been witnessed in a Seattle courtroom. Not only was every seat and chair occupied, but the standing room, every inch of it, was packed with curious humanity. Scores of people stood outside the corridors, patiently awaiting an opportunity to crowd within. Women were largely represented, at least 50 being in the courtroom.

 

Promptly at 9:30 o’clock the witnesses for the state were lined up before the bench and sworn. They were then excluded from the courtroom, the jury was brought into court and the opening statement for the state presented. This preliminary outline of the case for the prosecution was set out by Mr. Miller. In a quiet and business-like manner he described the events of the killing of Creffield by Mitchell. Mr. Miller said in part:

 

MR. MILLER’S OPENING STATEMENT

 

“About 7 o’clock on the morning of May 7th, this defendant, George Mitchell, shot and instantly killed Edmund Creffield on the streets of this city.  Mr. Creffield and his wife arose early that morning to do some shopping and were walking south on the First Avenue on the right-hand side of the street. Near the corner of Columbia Street they crossed diagonally to the left-hand side. Mrs. Creffield was on the inside, and they walked along with their elbows touching close to the buildings.

 

“When they came to the Quick Drug Store, this defendant was standing there and after they had passed fired a shot from his pistol, which entered the base of Creffield’s brain, the ball lodging in the right point of the jaw. His wife looked around and saw George Mitchell with a smoking revolver in his hand.

 

“She rushed to him and asked: ‘What did you kill my husband for? He never did you any harm.’ He never answered, but continued coolly smoking his cigar.

 

“Officer Le Count came up and found the defendant walking up and down, while Mrs. Creffield scuffled with him, pushing him away from her husband. Someone pointed him out as the man who had fired the shot, but in answer to the policeman’s question he said: ‘Wait till I get to the police station and I’ll make a statement.’

 

“When he got there he asked for a telegraph blank and sent this message to O. V. Hurt, Corvallis, Oregon: ‘I’ve got my man. I am in jail here.’ That telegram, gentlemen, will be introduced in evidence.

 

“To Louis Sefrit, a newspaper reporter, he said: ‘I came here Wednesday morning and had been looking for him. I saw them a block and a half away, and when they passed me, I jumped out and fired.’

 

“That, gentlemen, is briefly our case.”

 

MITCHELL AROUSES HIMSELF

 

During this recital the young defendant seemed to awaken from the lethargic state in which he had been during the selection of a jury. He leaned forward in his chair and followed the state’s attorney with the closest attention. In fact, Mitchell showed close interest in the examination of all the witnesses.

 

During the time Peter Wooley, and Italian bootblack who witnessed the tragedy, was on the stand, Mitchell laughed repeatedly at the witnesses broken English. He seemed in a good humor when court closed for the day, and seemed relieved that the state had been brief in its case and had sprung no surprises.

 

The first witness to be called to the stand was Dr. Emil Bories, the Seattle physician who was at the scene of the tragedy immediately after it occurred, and who performed an autopsy on the dead man. Dr. Bories stated that he found Creffield’s body lying in the drug store. A woman was lying across the lifeless form, stroking the hair and muttering, “Joshua, Joshua. They can’t kill Joshua.”

 

THOUGHT IT GHOSTLY “JOSH.”

 

“I misunderstood the woman, Creffield’s wife, thinking she said it was all a ‘josh,’” said Dr. Bories. “I said to her: ‘Madam, this is no josh; this man is dead.”

 

This odd statement created a ripple of merriment in the courtroom, which was instantly stilled by the sharp rapping of the bailiff’s gavel.

 

On cross-examination, the doctor stated that Creffield’s brain was entirely normal and well developed and that the wound inflicted by Mitchell was such as caused instant and painless death. The ball entered the back of the neck, he said, penetrating at the base of the brain and shutting off lung and heart action. Regarding Mrs. Creffield’s demeanor after the shooting, witness said she was unusually cool and collected, showing little or no emotion.

 

COULD HARDLY BELIEVE IT

“I could hardly believe,” he said “that she was the wife of the man who lay dead on the floor.”

 

Dr. F. M. Carroll, coroner of King County was the second witness. His testimony coincided with that of Dr. Bories. He, too, thought death must have been instantaneous and painless. Dr. Carroll was succeeded in the witness chair by J. Tuchten, an eye witness of the shooting.

 

Mr. Tuchten was walking immediately behind the Creffields until a moment or two before the shooting, when he chanced to cross the street. His attention was attracted by the firing of a shot and he looked just as Creffield sank in his tracks to the sidewalk. He ran across the street to the scene and heard Mrs. Creffield ask the slayer why he had killed her husband. Mitchell made no reply.

 

MURDERER SMOKED CIGAR

 

Tuchten said he was particularly impressed by the calm demeanor of the man who did the shooting. Mitchell stood near the body, smoking a cigar, and showed no signs of emotion. Similar testimony was given by W. C. Capps, a dentist who has offices in the Washington block near the scene of the shooting. he heard the fatal shot and saw the body lying on the sidewalk. further testimony substantiating the facts of the killing and all of a similar nature, was given by John A. Whalley, and insurance agent, and Peter Wooley, a bootblack, at the forenoon session.

 

The afternoon proceedings were taken up by Mrs. Creffield, the officers who arrested Mitchell and had him in custody and a newspaper reporter who interviewed him shortly after the shooting.

 

Patrolman LeCount who made the arrest, said Mitchell submitted quietly. he asked him why he killed the man and Mitchell, after putting him off, finally told him at the police station, that Creffield ruined his sister and was the leader of the Holy rollers, a cult that was driving women out of their minds and robbing them of their chastity. Corroborative evidence was presented by Charles Tennant, sergeant of detectives; Police Captain Willard and by Louis Sefrit, reporter for the Seattle Times.

 

LAST WITNESSES OF DAY

 

The last witnesses of the day were Police Captain John Sullivan and H. P. Ford, who saw Mitchell send a telegram immediately after the shooting to O. V. Hurt, Mrs. Creffield’s father, at Corvallis. In this telegram he said: “I have got my man. Am in jail here.” Mr. Miller then stated that the case for the State was before the jury and adjournment was taken until Monday at 9:30 o’clock.

 

The fact that Mrs. Creffield made no radical statements while on the stand today has given the defense hope that the Holy-Rollers have made no organized plan for assisting in Mitchell’s conviction. Esther Mitchell, the defendant’s sister, was brought into court yesterday morning, but was not questioned by Mitchell’s attorneys, who were busy with other matters. She will be on hand again Monday, and will be closely questioned as to the causes of her prejudice against her brother before being place on the witness-stand.

 

WILL TAKE ENTIRE WEEK

 

The opening statement for the defense will include a full and complete outline of the causes leading up to the shooting. This statement, it is believed, will take up the greater part of Monday of itself. Thirty or more witnesses will be examined for the defense and this will take up the remainder of next week and possibly part of the week following, it is stated.

 

On every hand it is believed that the jury will return promptly a verdict of acquittal. There are few people in Seattle that have been following the case who believe Mitchell will be convicted, even of manslaughter.

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Newspaper Articles about Creffield & the Holy Rollers

1897-1899:Local Lore, News Of Corvallis and Vicinity Told in Brief B. C. (Before Creffield)

1900:Holy Rollers' Lives Before Creffield

1901:Holy Rollers' Lives Before Creffield

1902:Holy Rollers' Lives Creffield

January 18, 1903: Fred Mitchell Attempts Suicide

June 10, 1903: Salvation Army Major Deserts and Joins the Holy Rollers

October 31, 1903: Zealot Worshipers Burn Furniture, Dogs & Other Things

November 2, 1903: Fanatics In Court

November 3, 1903: Had Promise of Tar and Feathers

November 4, 1903: Flight of The Apostles

November 5, 1903: Once-Esteemed Family No Longer Has the Sympathy of the Community

November 6, 1903: Rollers Take On New Life

November 7, 1903: Is Creffield Back?

November 11, 1903: “Apostle” Creffield Still Under Cover

November 24, 1903: Girl of Sixteen Almost Insane

November 25, 1903: In Pursuit of Creffield

November 27, 1903: The Lord May Starve Them

November 28, 1903: Holy Rollers Receive Unwilling Baptism

December 7, 1903: Demented Woman Suffers

December 8, 1903: Hurt Seen In Portland

December 11, 1903:Holy Rollers Roll Into Eugene Church

December 21, 1903:Holy Roller Victim Worse

December 22, 1903: Linn County Holy Rollers

December 23, 1903: Is Crazy Now

December 29, 1903: Holy Rollers’ Not Liked at the Dalles

December 30, 1903: Owner of Property Refuses to Permit Séances

January 6, 1904: Holy Rollers Tarred and Feathered

January 9, 1904: Their Welcome Departure

January 12, 1904: Editorial Comment: “Put yourselves in our place!”

January 13, 1904: Where Brooks Went

January 19, 1904: Our Brainy Contemporaries

January 25: Holy Rollers’ in Hobo Camp Life

February 1, 1904: Camp In Linn County Is Broken Up By Officers

February 6, 1904: How They Tell The Holy Roller Story In Far Off Scotland

February 11, 1904: Medium Mystify Corvallis People

March 1, 1904: The “Holy Rollers” Offend Humanity

March 16, 1904: Holy Rollers to Be Arrested on Serious Charge

March 17, 1904: Where is the Apostle?

March 21, 1904: Reward For Creffield's Capture

March 23, 1904: Fugitive Creffield

March 28, 1904: Reward is Offered

April 1, 1904: “Holy Roller” Chief Very Badly Wanted

April 18, 1904: Holy Roller High Priest Is Seen

April 29, 1904: Urania Seeley is Arrested

May 2, 1904: Frank & Mollie Hurt are Committed to the Asylum

May 4, 1904: Maud Hurt-Creffield & Sophia Hartley are Committed

May 7, 1904: Attie Bray &Rose Seeley are Committed

June 11, 1904: Attie Bray Escapes

June 17, 1904: Mae Hurt is Committed

June 29, 1904: Sarah Hurt is Committed

July 22, 1904: Holy Roller on Death Row

July 29, 1904: Creffield Found Half Dead Under Hurt’s House

July, 30 1904: Armed Guards Protect Creffield

July, 31 1904: Corvallis Could Not Raise a Mob

August 1, 1904: Creffield says, "I am Elijah"

August 2, 1904: Creffield Does Not Dislike Prison

August 4, 1904: Creffield Says He Is Entirely Purified

August 5, 1904: He Does Nothing Unless Directed by God

August 6, 1904: Creffield Believes in Satan and Eternal Punishment

August 9, 1904: No Flowers For Creffield

August 13, 1904; The Holy Rollers And The Man Who Made Them

August 16, 1904; Creffield Reward Will Be Returned

August 19, 1904: Followers in Asylum Stick To Faith

August 23, 1904: Creffield Will Fight His Own Case

August 28, 1904: Creffield Destroys His Revelations

September 16, 1904: Creffield is Guilty

September 21, 1904: Holy Rollers go in and Out of the Asylum

March 22, 1905: Prison Life Of Joshua Creffield>

April 8, 1905: Life In Corvallis Returns to Normal

December 12, 1905: Frank & Mollie Hurt Have a Baby Girl

April 24, 1906: Creffield Establishes a Camp Near Waldport

April 30, 1906: Donna Starr Leaves Children to go to Her Spiritual Love, Joshua Creffield

May 1, 1906: Creffield Takes Credit for The San Francisco Earthquake

May 3, 1906: Creffield In Fear Of His Life

May 7, 1906: Holy Roller Shot Down Like A Dog

May 8, 1906: Medal to Be Given Mitchell in Recognition of His Killing

May 9, 1906: Oregon Prosecutor Would Aid Mitchell

May 10, 1906: Shows No Emotion At Husband’s Grave

May 11, 1906: Bail Is All Ready

May 12, 1906: Mitchell Denied Bail

May 13, 1906: Creffield is Due To Rise Today

May 14, 1906: Creffield’s Widow Watches At Grave

May 15, 1906: Corvallis Starts Fund for Defense of Mitchell

May 16, 1906: Holy Rollers Starving Near Heceta Head

May 17, 1906: Public Sentiment Favors Mitchell

May 18, 1906: Creffield Railed in Vermont

May 19, 1906: Mitchell to Enter Plea of Not Guilty

May 27, 1906: Joshua Says Not to Worry

June 1, 1906: Morris Claims Mitchell Rid World of a Fiend

June 16, 1906: Prosecution and Defense are Making Last Preparations

June 19, 1906: Many Witnesses For Mitchell

June 24, 1906: Trial Will Cost Taxpayers Ten Thousand Dollars

June 25, 1906: George Mitchell on Trial For His Life

June 26, 1906: Mitchell Jury is Selected With Care

June 27, 1906: Mitchell Trial Held Up By Squabble

June 28, 1906:  Jury is Secured to Try Mitchell

June 29, 1906: Trial is Now on in Earnest

June 30, 1906: Mrs. Creffield's Testimony

July 1, 1906: Creffield’s Ghost Controls His Flock

July 2, 1906:  Esther Mitchell on Stand Refuses To Aid Brother

July 3, 1906: Hurt Tells of Debauched Wife and Debased Sisters

July 4, 1906: Creffield’s Unsavory Record Presented to the Jury

July 5, 1906: Expected Admissibility of Evidence Will Arouse Controversy

July 6, 1906: Others Testify They Wished to Kill Creffield

July 7, 1906: Insanity Expert on the Witness Stand

July 8, 1906: Plan To Revive Holy Rollerism

July 9, 1906: Killing of Judge Emory May Effect Mitchell

July 10, 1906: Mitchell Case Goes To Jury

July 11, 1906: Not Guilty

July 12, 1906: General Rejoicing at Mitchell’s Acquittal

July 13, 1906: Esther Mitchell Kills Her Brother!

July 14, 1906: Mitchell Boys Are Done With Esther

July 15, 1906: Hurt Will Come to Aid of His Daughter

July 16: 1906: Will Mortgage His Home for Daughter

July 17, 1906: Let’s Think When We Talk

July 18, 1906: Mrs. Starr’s Life Threatened

July 19, 1906: Mrs. Creffield Weeps in Jail

July 20, 1906: George Mitchell’s Attorney Offers Aid to Murderesses

July 21, 1906: Mitchell Boys to Stand by Esther

July 22, 1906: Hurt Thinks Both Women Are Insane

July 23, 1906: Frater Favors a Commission of Alienists

July 24, 1906: Mackintosh Will Oppose Calling Commission

July 26, 1906: Is Reconciled to Holy Roller Wife

July 27, 1906: Holy Rollers Seek Home in Wyoming

July 28, 1906: Mitchell Juror is Insane

July 30, 1906: Esther Will Deny Committing Murder In The 1st Degree

July 31 1906: Esther Mitchell Says Not Guilty

August 1, 1906: Relatives to Help Esther Mitchell

August 4, 1906: Creffield Greatly Hurt True Religion

August 6, 1906: Mitchell Boys in Drunken Row

August 8, 1906: St. Louis Woman Coming to Convert “Rollers”

August 12, 1906: Esther Mitchell Close to Death from Typhoid

August 13, 1906: Esther Mitchell Not Seriously Ill

September 1, 1906: Four Charged with First Degree Now in County Jail

September 10 1906: To Examine Minds of Slayers

September 12, 1906: Hurt Thinks His Daughter Insane

September 13, 1906: Esther Mitchell Objects to Help

September 14, 1906: Women Not Agitated

September 15, 1906: Mrs. Creffield’s Trial Set for Next Month

September 17, 1906: Mrs. Creffield on Stand

September 18, 1906:  Maud Creffield Anxious to Hang

September 19, 1906: Are They Sane of Insane?

September 21, 1906: Both Women May Go Scott Free

September 22, 1906: Where is This Thing to End!

September 23, 1906: Murders Must Be Tried

September 24, 1906: Must Not Deport

September 25, 1906: Judge Frater is in Very Small Business

September 28, 1906: Insanity Board Not Paid

October 1, 1906: Holy Roller Woman Dies While in Trance

November 9, 1906: Mrs. Creffield Said to Be in Very Nervous State

November 17, 1906: Maud Creffield Dies in the County Jail

November 18, 1906: Death May End a Hypnotic Spell

November 19, 1906: Reviews Findings in Examination of Brain

November 20, 1906: Mrs. Creffield Killed Herself with Poison!

November 21, 1906: Poison Is Found In The Stomach Of Mrs. Creffield

November 22, 1906: Esther Says Maud Did Not Kill Herself

December 4, 1906: Washing Dirty Linen

December 17, 1906: Sad Christmas For Holy Roller

February 21, 1907: Esther Mitchell Goes to Asylum

April 30, 1907: Esther Mitchell Still Believe in Creffield & His Return

April 6, 1909: Esther Mitchell Leaves Asylum

April 9, 1914: Esther Mitchell Marries James Berry

August 3, 1914: Esther Mitchell is Dead By Own Hand

1953 Stewart Holbrook's Murder Without Tears

1951 Startling Detective Magazine: Nemesis of the Nudist High Priest

A List of All the Articles

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Newspaper Articles about Creffield & the Holy Rollers

1897-1899: Local Lore, News Of Corvallis and Vicinity Told in Brief B. C. (Before Creffield)

1900: Holy Rollers' Lives Before Creffield

1901: Holy Rollers' Lives Before Creffield

1902: Holy Rollers' Lives Creffield

January 18, 1903: Fred Mitchell Attempts Suicide

June 10, 1903: Salvation Army Major Deserts and Joins the Holy Rollers

October 31, 1903: Zealot Worshipers Burn Furniture, Dogs & Other Things

November 2, 1903: Fanatics In Court

November 3, 1903: Had Promise of Tar and Feathers

November 4, 1903: Flight of The Apostles

November 5, 1903: Once-Esteemed Family No Longer Has the Sympathy of the Community

November 6, 1903: Rollers Take On New Life

November 7, 1903: Is Creffield Back?

November 11, 1903: “Apostle” Creffield Still Under Cover

November 24, 1903: Girl of Sixteen Almost Insane

November 25, 1903: In Pursuit of Creffield

November 27, 1903: The Lord May Starve Them

November 28, 1903: Holy Rollers Receive Unwilling Baptism

December 7, 1903: Demented Woman Suffers

December 8, 1903: Hurt Seen In Portland

December 11, 1903: Holy Rollers Roll Into Eugene Church

December 21, 1903: Holy Roller Victim Worse

December 22, 1903: Linn County Holy Rollers

December 23, 1903: Is Crazy Now

December 29, 1903: Holy Rollers’ Not Liked at the Dalles

December 30, 1903: Owner of Property Refuses to Permit Séances

January 6, 1904: Holy Rollers Tarred and Feathered

January 9, 1904: Their Welcome Departure

January 12, 1904: Editorial Comment: “Put yourselves in our place!”

January 13, 1904: Where Brooks Went

January 19, 1904: Our Brainy Contemporaries

January 25: Holy Rollers’ in Hobo Camp Life

February 1, 1904: Camp In Linn County Is Broken Up By Officers

February 6, 1904: How They Tell The Holy Roller Story In Far Off Scotland

February 11, 1904: Medium Mystify Corvallis People

March 1, 1904: The “Holy Rollers” Offend Humanity

March 16, 1904: Holy Rollers to Be Arrested on Serious Charge

March 17, 1904: Where is the Apostle?

March 21, 1904: Reward For Creffield's Capture

March 23, 1904: Fugitive Creffield

March 28, 1904: Reward is Offered

April 1, 1904:“Holy Roller” Chief Very Badly Wanted

April 18, 1904: Holy Roller High Priest Is Seen

April 29, 1904: Urania Seeley is Arrested

May 2, 1904: Frank & Mollie Hurt are Committed to the Asylum

May 4, 1904: Maud Hurt-Creffield & Sophia Hartley are Committed

May 7, 1904: Attie Bray & Rose Seeley are Committed

June 11, 1904: Attie Bray Escapes

June 17, 1904: Mae Hurt is Committed

June 29, 1904: Sarah Hurt is Committed

July 22, 1904: Holy Roller on Death Row

July 29, 1904: Creffield Found Half Dead Under Hurt’s House

July, 30 1904: Armed Guards Protect Creffield

July, 31 1904: Corvallis Could Not Raise a Mob

August 1, 1904: Creffield says, "I am Elijah"

August 2, 1904: Creffield Does Not Dislike Prison

August 4, 1904: Creffield Says He Is Entirely Purified

August 5, 1904: He Does Nothing Unless Directed by God

August 6, 1904: Creffield Believes in Satan and Eternal Punishment

August 9, 1904: No Flowers For Creffield

August 13, 1904: The Holy Rollers And The Man Who Made Them

August 16, 1904: Creffield Reward Will Be Returned

August 19, 1904: Followers in Asylum Stick To Faith

August 23, 1904: Creffield Will Fight His Own Case

August 28, 1904: Creffield Destroys His Revelations

September 16, 1904: Creffield is Guilty

September 21, 1904: Holy Rollers go in and Out of the Asylum

March 22, 1905: Prison Life Of Joshua Creffield

April 8, 1905: Life In Corvallis Returns to Normal

December 12, 1905: Frank & Mollie Hurt Have a Baby Girl

April 24, 1906: Creffield Establishes a Camp Near Waldport

April 30, 1906: Donna Starr Leaves Children to go to Her Spiritual Love, Joshua Creffield

May 1, 1906: Creffield Takes Credit for The San Francisco Earthquake

May 3, 1906: Creffield In Fear Of His Life

May 7, 1906: Holy Roller Shot Down Like A Dog

May 8, 1906: Medal to Be Given Mitchell in Recognition of His Killing

May 9, 1906: Oregon Prosecutor Would Aid Mitchell

May 10, 1906: Shows No Emotion At Husband’s Grave

May 11, 1906: Bail Is All Ready

May 12, 1906: Mitchell Denied Bail

May 13, 1906: Creffield is Due To Rise Today

May 14, 1906: Creffield’s Widow Watches At Grave

May 15, 1906: Corvallis Starts Fund for Defense of Mitchell

May 16, 1906: Holy Rollers Starving Near Heceta Head

May 17, 1906: Public Sentiment Favors Mitchell

May 18, 1906: Creffield Railed in Vermont

May 19, 1906: Mitchell to Enter Plea of Not Guilty

May 27, 1906: Joshua Says Not to Worry

June 1, 1906: Morris Claims Mitchell Rid World of a Fiend

June 16, 1906: Prosecution and Defense are Making Last Preparations

June 19, 1906: Many Witnesses For Mitchell

June 24, 1906: Trial Will Cost Taxpayers Ten Thousand Dollars

June 25, 1906: George Mitchell on Trial For His Life

June 26, 1906: Mitchell Jury is Selected With Care

June 27, 1906: Mitchell Trial Held Up By Squabble

June 28, 1906: Jury is Secured to Try Mitchell

June 29, 1906: Trial is Now on in Earnest

June 30, 1906: Mrs. Creffield's Testimony

July 1, 1906: Creffield’s Ghost Controls His Flock

July 2, 1906: Esther Mitchell on Stand Refuses To Aid Brother

July 3, 1906: Hurt Tells of Debauched Wife and Debased Sisters

July 4, 1906: Creffield’s Unsavory Record Presented to the Jury

July 5, 1906: Expected Admissibility of Evidence Will Arouse Controversy

July 6, 1906: Others Testify They Wished to Kill Creffield

July 7, 1906: Insanity Expert on the Witness Stand

July 8, 1906: Plan To Revive Holy Rollerism

July 9, 1906: Killing of Judge Emory May Effect Mitchell

July 10, 1906: Mitchell Case Goes To Jury

July 11, 1906: Not Guilty

July 12, 1906: General Rejoicing at Mitchell’s Acquittal

July 13, 1906: Esther Mitchell Kills Her Brother!

July 14, 1906: Mitchell Boys Are Done With Esther

July 15, 1906: Hurt Will Come to Aid of His Daughter

July 16: 1906: Will Mortgage His Home for Daughter

July 17, 1906: Let’s Think When We Talk

July 18, 1906: Mrs. Starr’s Life Threatened

July 19, 1906: Mrs. Creffield Weeps in Jail

July 20, 1906: George Mitchell’s Attorney Offers Aid to Murderesses

July 21, 1906: Mitchell Boys to Stand by Esther

July 22, 1906: Hurt Thinks Both Women Are Insane

July 23, 1906: Frater Favors a Commission of Alienists

July 24, 1906: Mackintosh Will Oppose Calling Commission

July 26, 1906: Is Reconciled to Holy Roller Wife

July 27, 1906: Holy Rollers Seek Home in Wyoming

July 28, 1906: Mitchell Juror is Insane

July 30, 1906: Esther Will Deny Committing Murder In The 1st Degree

July 31 1906: Esther Mitchell Says Not Guilty

August 1, 1906: Relatives to Help Esther Mitchell

August 4, 1906: Creffield Greatly Hurt True Religion

August 6, 1906: Mitchell Boys in Drunken Row

August 8, 1906: St. Louis Woman Coming to Convert “Rollers”

August 12, 1906: Esther Mitchell Close to Death from Typhoid

August 13, 1906: Esther Mitchell Not Seriously Ill

September 1, 1906: Four Charged with First Degree Now in County Jail

September 10 1906: To Examine Minds of Slayers

September 12, 1906: Hurt Thinks His Daughter Insane

September 13, 1906: Esther Mitchell Objects to Help

September 14, 1906: Women Not Agitated

September 15, 1906: Mrs. Creffield’s Trial Set for Next Month

September 17, 1906: Mrs. Creffield on Stand

September 18, 1906: Maud Creffield Anxious to Hang

September 19, 1906: Are They Sane of Insane?

September 21, 1906: Both Women May Go Scott Free

September 22, 1906: Where is This Thing to End!

September 23, 1906: Murders Must Be Tried

September 24, 1906: Must Not Deport

September 25, 1906: Judge Frater is in Very Small Business

September 28, 1906: Insanity Board Not Paid

October 1, 1906: Holy Roller Woman Dies While in Trance

November 9, 1906: Mrs. Creffield Said to Be in Very Nervous State

November 17, 1906: Maud Creffield Dies in the County Jail

November 18, 1906: Death May End a Hypnotic Spell

November 19, 1906: Reviews Findings in Examination of Brain

November 20, 1906: Mrs. Creffield Killed Herself with Poison!

November 21, 1906: Poison Is Found In The Stomach Of Mrs. Creffield

November 22, 1906: Esther Says Maud Did Not Kill Herself

December 4, 1906: Washing Dirty Linen

December 17, 1906: Sad Christmas For Holy Roller

February 21, 1907: Esther Mitchell Goes to Asylum

April 30, 1907: Esther Mitchell Still Believe in Creffield & His Return

April 6, 1909: Esther Mitchell Leaves Asylum

April 9, 1914: Esther Mitchell Marries James Berry

August 3, 1914: Esther Mitchell is Dead By Own Hand

1953 Stewart Holbrook's Murder Without Tears

1951 Startling Detective Magazine, Nemesis of the Nudist High Priest

A List of All the Articles

 

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Sample Chapters from Holy Rollers:
Murder and Madness in Oregon's Love Cult

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The Cast of Characters
Photos and Bios of the Holy Rollers

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Holy Rollers' Asylum Commitment Papers

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Info for Book Groups

Book Reviews

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1903 to 1907 Newspaper Articles About the Holy Rollers

1906 Editorial Calling for Gun Control
After Multiple Murders Involving the Holy Rollers

Stewart Holbrook Holy Rollers Article

Advertisements from 1893 to 1913

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Oregon Insane Asylum
Where the Holy Rollers Were Committed

Creffield, Brainwashing & Thought Reform

Early Cases of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

1906 Autopsies Of Holy Rollers
Forensics Before CSI

Holy Roller Bizarre Divorce Decree
Hartley describes trying to kill his wife's lover

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Comedians on Edmund Creffield

The Shadow Testament
A Play About The Holy Rollers

How the Fire Fell
A Movie About The Holy Rollers

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Life in Corvallis in the early 1900s

Life in Waldport, OR in early 1900s

Heaven's Gate

Facts & Stats about 1906
And How The Holy Rollers Measured Up

Oregon State Penitentiary
Where Creffield Was Incarcerated

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Info about Cults

Could you ever be lured into joining a cult?

Share your thoughts about, and experiences with, cults

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Creffield's Preachings

Creffield Vs. Crefeld

The Salvation Army Opening Fire in 1886

Holy Roller Theology

Reverend Knapp's Bible Songs of Salvation & Victory
Songs Sung by the Holy Rollers

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About the Authors

Theresa (T-) McCracken

Robert B. Blodgett

In addition to writing, McCracken is a cartoonist.

To see some of her 'toons, go to the Home of McHumor Cartoons mchumor.com

McCracken's Blog

email
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Snail Mail
Theresa (T-) McCracken
890 North Bayview Loop
Waldport, Oregon 97394

(541) 563-3112

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Theresa (T-) McCracken